Traces of History , Granada: Guide Granada: Spain - Nozio 0%

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Granada Traces Of History, Spain

Inhabited since the end of the Greek-Roman period, old Granada experienced times of great splendor and became one of the richest regions of the Empire. When Rome started its inexorable decline in the 4th Century, the lands of Andalusia knew the invasions of Visigoth barbarians, who maintained their influence until the Muslims appeared in Europe. It was 711 AD.

The seven centuries that saw the rule of Islam brought wealth to Granada and a major portion of Andalusia; the illuminated rule of the sultans forced Christians and Jews to pay substantial tributes but did not result in persecution or expulsions, preserving the region’s social and economic core.

During the Nasridi dynasty, Granada reached it maximum splendor with an unprecedented artistic, scientific and cultural boom. When Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nazar enters Granada in 1232, founding the Sultanate of Granada, the city enriched itself even more and was embellished by the striking Alhambra complex and the splendid gardens that surround the residence of the Generalife.

In 1492, torn by internal divisions and an economic crisis, Granada is thrown into civil war; this situation gave an opportunity for the intervention of the Reconquista army of Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragon. Conquering the last Muslim outpost in Europe, the Spanish Crown installed itself in the palace of the Alhambra, starting the religious persecution against Muslims and Jews that ended with the expulsion of the Moriscos - Muslims forced to convert to Catholicism - under the reign of Phillip II in the late 16th Century.

It is under Christian rule that Granada starts to progressively decline. Relegated to the periphery of Charles V’s and Phillip II’s dominions - always involved in bloody war campaigns on other fronts - the city had a second-class role, being surpassed by other centers like Seville and Cadiz, which became wealthy due to the commerce of gold and goods coming from the New World.

Nevertheless, the inevitable path to independence of the American colonies caused progressive and significant damage to the treasury of the Spanish Kingdom. Incapable of fighting the power of the English fleet during the Battle of Trafalgar along the coast of Cadiz, Spain starts to decline, a situation accentuated by the brief French rule of Joseph Bonaparte that ended with the War of Independence of 1814.

Despite financial difficulties and relative political immobility, the end of the 19th Century saw, from a cultural standpoint, the cultural rebirth of Granada and of Spain as a whole; artists like Manuel de Falla, Andrés Segovia and Federico Garcia Lorca transformed Granada in one of the cultural capitals of the 19th Century.

In April 1931, the end of the Revolution gave way to the birth of the Republic. The young democracy, bent on radically transforming the country, was suppressed by Franco’s dictatorship, supported by the power of the Axis. The bloody Civil War resulted in the death, among others, of Lorca, at that time the most renowned Spanish poet and playwright.  

Francisco Franco’s regime lasted until 1977. With the death of the dictator and the Spanish throne in the hands of Juan Carlos de Borbón, the constitution was finally approved; soon after Andalusia proclaimed itself an Autonomous Region, finally rediscovering the splendor of the past and offering tourists its immense cultural patrimony.

Today Granada is a vibrant and sophisticated city, occupying a position of international privilege due to the beauty of its scenery and, above all, by the sensations it can elicit on travelers. In this regard, we suggest reading ‘Tales of the Alhambra’ by Washington Irving, an essential text for those who wish to enter in contact with the fascination and seduction of Granada.       

Author:Nozio



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